Tempeh with Mushrooms, Leeks, Shallots and Tomatoes

January 13, 2012

I’m still trying to come up with a tempeh dish I like as well as Tempeh Napoletano. I really like tempeh, but kind of struggle with the right flavors to use whenever I try to make it without that particular recipe. (Maybe I’ll just cave in and try a barbecue sauce next time). At any rate, my husband, who isn’t the hugest tempeh fan, did like my creation this time, so that seems like a good sign.

As much as I like tempeh, it really is not an attractive food. I wouldn’t argue with anyone who wanted to call it downright disgusting looking when uncooked and viewed through the clear side of the packaging. (In fact, I’m almost kind of embarrassed when I buy it, fearful that I’ll inadvertently land in the checkout lane of a vegetarian food hating carnivore, giving them no reason to question their food leanings, but plenty of reason to comment on my tempeh). But, tempeh is nice and high in protein for a non-meat, and has a nice, nutty taste, and a more interesting texture than tofu, so if you can get past how it looks uncooked, it’s definitely worth it. (For your viewing pleasure, I photographed it in the wrapper, which is much more lovely and colorful than the tempeh brick was).

I decided to use mushrooms and leeks for the dish during my meal planning, and then when I got started on it, decided to throw in some salad tomatoes and shallots I had left over. I ended up adding red wine, oregano, marjoram, and thyme, and then finishing it with a bit of truffle oil and sherry vinegar.

Ingredients for Tempeh with Mushrooms, Leeks, Shallots and Tomatoes

Ingredients for Tempeh with Mushrooms, Leeks, Shallots and Tomatoes (some of the tomatoes ended up on our salads)

I recently read that many people recommend steaming tempeh prior to cooking it, which causes it to expand, allowing it to absorb flavors better. I was more than happy to try this, since we just got an awesome silicone cooking colander which you can set right on top of a pot of boiling water for steaming (or submerge it in a pot of water for boiling and easy draining afterward). I just put the lid on with a bit of a crack for to air to escape, and it worked great.

Tempeh Steaming in our Sweet New Silicone Cooking Colander

Tempeh Steaming in our Sweet New Silicone Steamer Basket

Tempeh with Mushrooms, Leeks, Shallots and Tomatoes
serves 2-4

1 package of tempeh (original flavor)
3 cups Shiitake Mushrooms (or Portobello), stemmed and sliced
3 Leeks, finely chopped
2-3 Shallots, minced
2/3 to 3/4 cup seeded and diced tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup red wine
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp truffle oil
1/4 to 1/2 tsp sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
10 grinds of pepper

Steam the tempeh for 15 minutes, turning it halfway through. After the tempeh is done steaming, remove it and either crumble or cut into tiny pieces (the latter is what I did), and set aside. You can start with the rest of the steps after the tempeh has been steaming for 5-10 minutes, or you can wait until it’s done first.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is warm, sauté the leeks and shallots for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Next, add the tomatoes and mushrooms, and sauté for another 5 minutes. Now add the tempeh, red wine, vegetable stock, oregano, marjoram, thyme, salt and pepper, and combine well. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Add the truffle oil and 1/4 tsp of sherry vinegar and combine well. Adjust the spices and sherry vinegar as desired, and serve.

Tempeh with Mushrooms, Leeks, Shallots, and Tomatoes

Tempeh with Mushrooms, Leeks, Shallots, and Tomatoes


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